How to Buy Scrabble Dictionaries on eBay

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How to Buy Scrabble Dictionaries on eBay

Scrabble is a popular word game played in official and unofficial tournaments around the world. Several official dictionaries are available to help players find and verify acceptable words for use during the game. Players can also choose to use any standard dictionary, as long as it is agreed upon by all the players in a game.

There are three official Scrabble dictionaries available. One is used in the UK and much of the English-speaking world, and the other two are marketed in the United States and Canada. These dictionaries differ in the types of words they contain, as well as their definitions. There are also several editions available, so it is worth considering all options in order to find the most suitable product.

Official Scrabble and standard dictionaries can all be purchased on eBay. It is possible to shop for these items by searching with keywords, or by clicking on the category links that appear on each page. Once the desired items have been located, buyers can research listings and sellers to ensure a positive buying experience.

Navigate the eBay Website

A high number of product listings for Scrabble dictionaries can be found on eBay. Items are sold by both private and commercial sellers, and are available in new or used condition. To shop for these dictionaries, begin from the homepage. eBay’s website can be navigated using keywords and category links. In many cases, a combination of these two options can be the best way to locate specific items. Learn about each method to find the most desirable items.


Keywords are often the easiest way to begin a search, and can be used to quickly find almost anything on eBay. Simply type the name of a product into the search field. For example, to see listings for a copy of Collins Scrabble Words, enter "collins scrabble." New terms can be added from any page to refine the search criteria. 


eBay’s category links can be used to initiate a new search, or narrow listings from results pages. Buyers may use this option in conjunction with search terms to locate very specific items. For example, the listings obtained from the "collins scrabble" keyword search can be narrowed using the categories for price, format, and other criteria.

Buying Used

Item condition is one of the category links available for Scrabble dictionaries. This option can be used to shop for either new or used products from search results pages. Used items are often available at lower prices, though it is important to check a book’s condition before purchasing. Examine photos and read descriptions provided by the seller to determine specifics about the item being sold. See if it has any stickers or sticker residue on the cover, and inspect the condition of the item’s binding.

Choose Scrabble Dictionaries

There are three primary dictionaries used by Scrabble players. Two of them are designed for a North American market, while a third is used throughout much of the remaining English-speaking world, including the United Kingdom. Each of these books vary in terms of the words they include, as well as whether the vocabulary is defined or not. Learn about the official word lists and dictionaries to choose a book that is most suitable for play.

SOWPODS and Collins Scrabble Words

In Great Britain and most other countries outside the US, Scrabble players use the SOWPODS word list. SOWPODS is not an acronym itself, but a combination of the acronyms OSPD (Official Scrabble Players Dictionary) and and OSW (Official Scrabble Words), which were the original Scrabble dictionaries.

The SOWPODS list is comprised of both British and American words, and is the official list used by the UK since 2001. The first book published using the SOWPODS list was the Chambers Official Scrabble Words: International Edition. This was later replaced with the Collins Scrabble Words publication, which remains the only publication to use the SOWPODS list.

Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD)

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) was developed by the National Scrabble Association (NSA) for use in its clubs and tournaments. The word list in the dictionary was developed from several college-level dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster’s. The OSPD has been released in several editions. The first two were used by the NSA in its tournaments, but the third edition was replaced for official use after several potentially offensive words were removed. The OWL has since been the NSA’s official word list, and the OSPD continues to be produced as a family-friendly version of the dictionary.

Official Tournament and Club Word List (OWL)

The Official Tournament and Club Word List, or Official Word List (OWL) is the official Scrabble word list for tournaments held in the United States, Canada, and Thailand. It is a modified version of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, designed to be more effective in tournament play, as it contains a higher number of words.

The OWL was originally developed as the result of the bowdlerisation of the OSPD.The removal of potentially inflammatory or offensive language from OSPD necessarily reduced the word count of the book, which many members of the National Scrabble Association felt diminished gameplay. The OWL was published with the words reinstated, though all definitions are absent from these dictionaries. The OWL is not sold commercially, and is normally only available to NSA members. 

Standard Dictionaries

Any dictionary can be used to play Scrabble, as long as it is agreed upon by all players before the game. Although it can be easy to use any dictionary that is around, a small dictionary may limit the range of words that can be used during play. If a standard dictionary is chosen, consider the type of dictionary and how many words are listed. Keep in mind that hyphenated, apostrophised, and capitalised words like proper nouns cannot be used.

Paperback vs. Hardback

Buyers of official Scrabble dictionaries and standard ones can choose between either paperback or hardback items on eBay. A paperback book is likely sufficient for home use, though buyers looking to play in tournaments, or who otherwise carry their dictionary with them on a regular basis may enjoy the protection a hard binding provides. Keep in mind that hardbound dictionaries are more expensive.

Research Items and Seller Profiles on eBay

Once you have located the type of dictionary you would like to purchase, take the time to investigate item listings and seller profiles. Begin by clicking on the image or name of any item in search results to see its full listing. Be clear on the price of the item, and check for any applicable shipping charges. Furthermore, you may also wish to determine the shipping methods. Sellers on eBay also list their accepted forms of payment in an item listing, so check this information to be sure you can pay for your purchase without any difficulties. Read the full description provided by the seller to be clear on the specific dictionary being sold. Check the edition of the book, if applicable, and contact the seller if you have any questions.

Review seller profiles before buying a Scrabble dictionary to ensure a positive transaction. Look for the seller’s feedback rating and number of completed transactions in item listings. The positive feedback rating indicates the number of buyers within the past 12 months who indicated they had a positive buying experience. Click on sellers’ names if you would like more information about their history. Full profiles contain comments and average ratings about the seller. These are provided by previous buyers, and can be used to determine some of the finer points of a seller’s performance. Leave feedback once you have received your dictionary to inform future buyers.


Scrabble dictionaries help buyers find and verify word choices during play. There are three major publications for Scrabble dictionaries, including one used in the UK, and two used in North America. The Collins Scrabble Words dictionary contains both British and American English words, and is the one most commonly found in the UK. The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) and the Official Tournament and Club Word List, also called the Official Word List (OWL), are used in the United States and Canada. The OSPD is the original word list dictionary, though its current edition is no longer used for tournament play by the National Scrabble Association.

Due to the removal of several words from the book, the OSPD is now used for family play, while the OWL contains a broader range of words. However, the OWL does not have definitions of its words, unlike the OSPD. Buyers can also choose a standard dictionary for play, as long as it is agreed upon by all players.

A high number of Scrabble and standard dictionaries are available on eBay. Listings for these items can be found by entering keywords or clicking on category links on the homepage. A combination of these options can also be used to refine searches to specific items. Consider the edition numbers and types of Scrabble books available, and shop around between sellers to find the right Scrabble dictionary to enhance any Scrabble experience.

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